Molecular therapy. Nucleic acids

Chondroitin Sulfate is the Primary Receptor for a Peptide-Modified AAV That Targets Brain Vascular Endothelium In Vivo.

PMID 25313621


Recently, we described a peptide-modified AAV2 vector (AAV-GMN) containing a capsid-displayed peptide that directs in vivo brain vascular targeting and transduction when delivered intravenously. In this study, we sought to identify the receptor that mediates transduction by AAV-GMN. We found that AAV-GMN, but not AAV2, readily transduces the murine brain endothelial cell line bEnd.3, a result that mirrors previously observed in vivo transduction profiles of brain vasculature. Studies in vitro revealed that the glycosaminoglycan, chondroitin sulfate C, acts as the primary receptor for AAV-GMN. Unlike AAV2, chondroitin sulfate expression is required for cell transduction by AAV-GMN, and soluble chondroitin sulfate C can robustly inhibit AAV-GMN transduction of brain endothelial cells. Interestingly, AAV-GMN retains heparin-binding properties, though in contrast to AAV2, it poorly transduces cells that express heparan sulfate but not chondroitin sulfate, indicating that the peptide insertion negatively impacts heparan-mediated transduction. Lastly, when delivered directly, this modified virus can transduce multiple brain regions, indicating that the potential of AAV-GMN as a therapeutic gene delivery vector for central nervous system disorders is not restricted to brain vascular endothelium.